Creating Autonomous Flying Robots with the CogniFly Project

The CogniFly project is a foray into combining autonomous drones with AI vision, allowing for novel solutions when tackling tough problems.

How It Started

Smart agriculture is vital for making farming more efficient and thus more sustainable. This includes tracking crop yields, water usage, and weather over time, all of which requires ample amounts of data and powerful processing to make it useful. Some data scientists use satellite imaging to gather information, but it can tough in certain locations. The alternative is to use UAVs to get images, which is what the MISTLab postdoctoral researcher Ricardo de Azambuja set out to do in his project called “High Fidelity Data Collection for Precision Agriculture with Drone Swarms”. He originally wanted to use off-the-shelf DJI Tello drones and customize their control software, but since they had to be connected to laptops the entire time and with new Canadian UAV restrictions, a new solution was needed. The next idea was to combine an open source design with AI capabilities and a customized battery holder for an ultra-versatile platform.

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